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40m, 2 pitches.

Rockfax Description
A wandering climb of great quality - perhaps the archetypical grit classic and thought by many to be worth HVS.
1) 4b, 15m. Climb the slabby groove to its top then traverse left to a stance on giant jammed blocks with a variety of belays.
2) 4c, 25m. Climb on to the flake (a big sling on it stops the rope jamming down the back) and descend its edge until a hidden foothold gives respite. Gain a crease on the left and teeter along this and all the way round onto the front face.
One tricky move leads to the well positioned slabby finish. Great care is needed to avoid the rope jamming and to protect the second. © Rockfax

FA. Peter Harding 1946.

Ticklists

ROCKFAX Western Grit: Top 50, The 100 Best UK VS routes?, Top 20 Gritstone UKC Wishlist Climbs, Top 25 UKC Wishlist Rock Climbs, The Roaches - Routes Graded List, Steve Ashton's 100 Classic Gritstone Climbs, Western Peak Grit 100 VD - VS, ROCKFAX Western Grit Grade List, The Peak: Past and Present, 100 Western Grit Stars, Darrencabowabo,s hit list, World Graded List, Northern (Yorkshire !?) Climbs for a Southerner, Peak Rock/5/ Always a Little Steeper, The BMC 70th Anniversary Ticklist, 3 Star Graded, ULMC Classics, MUMC Ticklist, The best the UK has to offer for mere mortals (apart from the lakes cos its always wet), AMC Uni Ticklist, The Roaches 3 Star Extravaganza, Definitive *** Peak Grit, The Ultimate SUMC Ticklist, Adventure ticklist 2018, Rocksport Top Ten Grit Routes, The Gritlist, 2020 Trips, Peak District Grit Graded List, Peak District Grit (2020) *** List, So you think you’re a VS climber?

Feedback

User Date Notes
mb_manchester 20 Sep Show βeta
βeta: still debating if this would be one for first onsight VS attempt. the flake is protected but feels the exact opposite. the "move-across" section is tough mentally and physically too if you are not careful and/or paniccy. if this would have been HVS, I wouldn't be surprised.
βeta?
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βeta: still debating if this would be one for first onsight VS attempt. the flake is protected but feels the exact opposite. the "move-across" section is tough mentally and physically too if you are not careful and/or paniccy. if this would have been HVS, I wouldn't be surprised.
Brown 5 Sep Show βeta
βeta: Climbs in a good single pitch with a bit of thought with gear and two ropes
βeta?
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βeta: Climbs in a good single pitch with a bit of thought with gear and two ropes
NataliaK 12 Jul Show βeta
βeta: On second pitch it’s definitely worth only clipping one rope and leaving the other one free for the second to climb on. Also as you come over to the left side wall think about extending the last clip for the rope as you will have to think about flicking the rope over some boulders as you do. The last moves and there, you are just a bit exposed and not much for the gear until you get about half way the last wall bit. Leave medium to large size cams at the top. I used up most of mine so had to add long sling to the West South side of the top features (left) at the end.
 
Show beta
βeta: On second pitch it’s definitely worth only clipping one rope and leaving the other one free for the second to climb on. Also as you come over to the left side wall think about extending the last clip for the rope as you will have to think about flicking the rope over some boulders as you do. The last moves and there, you are just a bit exposed and not much for the gear until you get about half way the last wall bit. Leave medium to large size cams at the top. I used up most of mine so had to add long sling to the West South side of the top features (left) at the end.
JayW 28 Jun Show βeta
βeta: Fantastic route of even better quality and character. The flake isn't that bad as there are plenty of opportunities to rest with jams. The crux is definitely exiting the flake.
 
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βeta: Fantastic route of even better quality and character. The flake isn't that bad as there are plenty of opportunities to rest with jams. The crux is definitely exiting the flake.
emmaharrington 23 Sep, 2019 Show βeta
βeta: I found the first pitch in the gully quite awkward. The second pitch on the flake is pumpy with lots to hold onto but not much feet! The lower you climb down the flake the harder it gets. The transition from the flake to the balancy traverse is tricky in itself. (Apparently there is a hidden foothold, but not sure I used it!). I found a right hand crimp and left hand on the undercut, to slowly traverse leftward. This is a balancy technical move, which feels very insecure, until you actually commit to make the move. After the traverse move, heading up the wide crack seems desperate (I'm not great at wide cracks anyway). Going round the corner on the arete and then onto the face I have been told is easier, but if you are 5ft 4 inches or smaller, you will have to make a quite committing move on crimps to get to the better holds above (this was the crux for me). Overall an epic and adventurous route, which will stay in my memory for a long time to come.
 
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βeta: I found the first pitch in the gully quite awkward. The second pitch on the flake is pumpy with lots to hold onto but not much feet! The lower you climb down the flake the harder it gets. The transition from the flake to the balancy traverse is tricky in itself. (Apparently there is a hidden foothold, but not sure I used it!). I found a right hand crimp and left hand on the undercut, to slowly traverse leftward. This is a balancy technical move, which feels very insecure, until you actually commit to make the move. After the traverse move, heading up the wide crack seems desperate (I'm not great at wide cracks anyway). Going round the corner on the arete and then onto the face I have been told is easier, but if you are 5ft 4 inches or smaller, you will have to make a quite committing move on crimps to get to the better holds above (this was the crux for me). Overall an epic and adventurous route, which will stay in my memory for a long time to come.
deruiter14 27 Jun, 2019 Show βeta
βeta: bit of an epic, messed up the rope work, got a load of drag and finished the last pitch in the dark topping out to bitter winds haha, still good fun.
βeta?
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βeta: bit of an epic, messed up the rope work, got a load of drag and finished the last pitch in the dark topping out to bitter winds haha, still good fun.
Johnathan 26 May, 2019 Show βeta
βeta: The teeter move was harder and scarier than the vast majority of routes I've done. I must've missed the hidden foothold and/or just done it completely wrong. Good laugh though.
 
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βeta: The teeter move was harder and scarier than the vast majority of routes I've done. I must've missed the hidden foothold and/or just done it completely wrong. Good laugh though.
Fidget 8 Jun, 2007 Show βeta
βeta: p.s. Apparently you can foot traverse the ledge at the top of the first pitch with hands on jugs on the wall above. Without realising that I hand traversed it (where it's more slabby but with poor hand holds), which looks a little interesting and dubious but it actually ok :S
βeta?
Show beta
βeta: p.s. Apparently you can foot traverse the ledge at the top of the first pitch with hands on jugs on the wall above. Without realising that I hand traversed it (where it's more slabby but with poor hand holds), which looks a little interesting and dubious but it actually ok :S
Fidget 8 Jun, 2007 Show βeta
βeta: I led the first pitch, didn't find it as polished as I anticipated, certainy not slippy (or maybe I'm just getting used to it). I'm not convinced about this hidden foothold. Either a) it's at the bottom of the flake, or b) it's on the left. If it's a), my leader climbed down too it, found it, and decided it was easier to climb back up a step and just step left - I did the same, with right foot on a notch on the edge of the flake. b) it it's on the left, it's not hidden. The hidden undercut to aid the step across is far more hidden! Or maybe I shouldn't have said that ;) Regardless, I enjoyed the route. We hadn't planned to do it, I once wanted to but went off the idea with it being so popular. But it was a special occasion and quiet at the crag, so we just found ourselves on it which turned out to be the perfect choice and we had a great evening. Kudos to the party of 3 who did it in the dark with headtorches after us, one of whom had just led his first route that evening!!
βeta?
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βeta: I led the first pitch, didn't find it as polished as I anticipated, certainy not slippy (or maybe I'm just getting used to it). I'm not convinced about this hidden foothold. Either a) it's at the bottom of the flake, or b) it's on the left. If it's a), my leader climbed down too it, found it, and decided it was easier to climb back up a step and just step left - I did the same, with right foot on a notch on the edge of the flake. b) it it's on the left, it's not hidden. The hidden undercut to aid the step across is far more hidden! Or maybe I shouldn't have said that ;) Regardless, I enjoyed the route. We hadn't planned to do it, I once wanted to but went off the idea with it being so popular. But it was a special occasion and quiet at the crag, so we just found ourselves on it which turned out to be the perfect choice and we had a great evening. Kudos to the party of 3 who did it in the dark with headtorches after us, one of whom had just led his first route that evening!!
Wilbur 8 May, 2007 Show βeta
βeta: Anyone who thinks this route is rubbish shld probably stop climbing!
βeta?
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βeta: Anyone who thinks this route is rubbish shld probably stop climbing!
Richard 261 25 Mar, 2007 Show βeta
βeta: P.P.S. This rant is now concluded, I'm off to have my medication and can be found back in my cage.
βeta?
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βeta: P.P.S. This rant is now concluded, I'm off to have my medication and can be found back in my cage.
Richard 261 24 Mar, 2007 Show βeta
βeta: P.S. You might also compare Valkyrie to Chequers Buttress at Frogatt, which is a very similar route when you look at them. However, Chequers Buttress has excellent climbing. Chequers Buttress definitely deserves three stars.
βeta?
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βeta: P.S. You might also compare Valkyrie to Chequers Buttress at Frogatt, which is a very similar route when you look at them. However, Chequers Buttress has excellent climbing. Chequers Buttress definitely deserves three stars.
Richard 261 24 Mar, 2007 Show βeta
βeta: >>>A wandering climb of great quality - the archetypical 'must-do'!<<< A horribly contrived and pointless wandering route with virtually no 'climbing' involved. Plenty of grovelling along ledges though if you like that. A technical grade of maybe 4B and probably HVS due to the "controlled falling" section. There is a hidden left foothold, but it didn't seem necessary once your right foot is at the very bottom of the flake, then just step across with your left foot. If all routes were like this dustbin full of dogsh1te, I'd probably take up bouldering. Ignore it and do The Sloth instead. That's good climbing with a point, exposure and exhilaration. How did Valkyrie get three stars? I give it three dog turds.
βeta?
Show beta
βeta: >>>A wandering climb of great quality - the archetypical 'must-do'!<<< A horribly contrived and pointless wandering route with virtually no 'climbing' involved. Plenty of grovelling along ledges though if you like that. A technical grade of maybe 4B and probably HVS due to the "controlled falling" section. There is a hidden left foothold, but it didn't seem necessary once your right foot is at the very bottom of the flake, then just step across with your left foot. If all routes were like this dustbin full of dogsh1te, I'd probably take up bouldering. Ignore it and do The Sloth instead. That's good climbing with a point, exposure and exhilaration. How did Valkyrie get three stars? I give it three dog turds.
Iain Thow 19 Mar, 2007 Show βeta
βeta: THe best VS on grit, HVS position but 4c with good gear. I overdid the looking for the hidden hold the first time & ended up with feet dangling below the roof. If you cant find it just jam a foot in & stretch left. The 1st pitch is now technically harder because of the polish
βeta?
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βeta: THe best VS on grit, HVS position but 4c with good gear. I overdid the looking for the hidden hold the first time & ended up with feet dangling below the roof. If you cant find it just jam a foot in & stretch left. The 1st pitch is now technically harder because of the polish
ToffeeSockScissorBitch 29 Nov, 2005 Show βeta
βeta: I found the hidden foothold, and still thought this route was tough for a vs, then again it was my first trad lead, brilliant though,
βeta?
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βeta: I found the hidden foothold, and still thought this route was tough for a vs, then again it was my first trad lead, brilliant though,
alj 26 Sep, 2005 Show βeta
βeta: Absolutely loved this route. Been building up to it for a while and definitely didn't find it the most challenging VS I've done - but definitely the most fun. The hidden foothold - is there but not exactly hidden - look down and you see it! I didn't find the first pitch particularly polished - just a bit awkward. Stepping onto the face wasn't that technical - I found the technical crux the first move up the final slab - but I'm pretty short making it a real reach. Rope work really makes you think. Definitely worth doing - i already want to do it again. But not particularly hard or exposed for VS and definitely not more than 4c.
βeta?
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βeta: Absolutely loved this route. Been building up to it for a while and definitely didn't find it the most challenging VS I've done - but definitely the most fun. The hidden foothold - is there but not exactly hidden - look down and you see it! I didn't find the first pitch particularly polished - just a bit awkward. Stepping onto the face wasn't that technical - I found the technical crux the first move up the final slab - but I'm pretty short making it a real reach. Rope work really makes you think. Definitely worth doing - i already want to do it again. But not particularly hard or exposed for VS and definitely not more than 4c.
Si dH 4 Sep, 2005 Show βeta
βeta: Very good but I didnt think as brilliant as its hyped up to be. The first pitc his pretty nastily polished. Also I felt the crux to be down-climbing the crack which was awkward and insecure, the move across being pretty easy (soft for 4c certainly)
βeta?
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βeta: Very good but I didnt think as brilliant as its hyped up to be. The first pitc his pretty nastily polished. Also I felt the crux to be down-climbing the crack which was awkward and insecure, the move across being pretty easy (soft for 4c certainly)
Iggy_B 22 Feb, 2005 Show βeta
βeta: Exhilarating position. Nice route, feels good to be on the front face at the end.
βeta?
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βeta: Exhilarating position. Nice route, feels good to be on the front face at the end.
Andrew Barker 1 Dec, 2004 Show βeta
βeta: If you aint done it....go do it! I'd agree that the first pitch is harder, especially in slimy November conditions! The positions on the flake and crossing the edge after it above the 'abyss' are fantastic.
βeta?
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βeta: If you aint done it....go do it! I'd agree that the first pitch is harder, especially in slimy November conditions! The positions on the flake and crossing the edge after it above the 'abyss' are fantastic.
Swig 27 Oct, 2004 Show βeta
βeta: 3 Stars. Excellent value.
βeta?
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βeta: 3 Stars. Excellent value.
leon 5 Apr, 2004 Show βeta
βeta: this is an amazing, epic climb. it's probably the most memorable climb i've had. i found the crux to be moving from the flake on to the main face.
βeta?
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βeta: this is an amazing, epic climb. it's probably the most memorable climb i've had. i found the crux to be moving from the flake on to the main face.
Simon Caldwell 20 Nov, 2003 Show βeta
βeta: Using double ropes the second will have a rope directly above them for the whole of the down-climb and traverse, so will not fall any distance at all. If you only have a single rope, pull it through and lower it back to the second, so the same applies. Anything which could give the second any significant fall is poor rope work.
βeta?
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βeta: Using double ropes the second will have a rope directly above them for the whole of the down-climb and traverse, so will not fall any distance at all. If you only have a single rope, pull it through and lower it back to the second, so the same applies. Anything which could give the second any significant fall is poor rope work.
Simon Caldwell 20 Oct, 2003 Show βeta
βeta: ...and the route is only HVS for the second if the leader makes a mess of the rope work. Or if he starts the route late and faffs for so long on the crux that the second has to climb it in the dark (sorry Carmen).
βeta?
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βeta: ...and the route is only HVS for the second if the leader makes a mess of the rope work. Or if he starts the route late and faffs for so long on the crux that the second has to climb it in the dark (sorry Carmen).
Simon Caldwell 20 Oct, 2003 Show βeta
βeta: I found the first pitch was technically much harder than the second (probably top end 4c), the second pitch mentally harder. The hidden foothold is only hidden if you don't look at the route from the ground, where it's obvious. But I thought the foothold made the route harder, I could only make the step across by not using it.
βeta?
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βeta: I found the first pitch was technically much harder than the second (probably top end 4c), the second pitch mentally harder. The hidden foothold is only hidden if you don't look at the route from the ground, where it's obvious. But I thought the foothold made the route harder, I could only make the step across by not using it.
mark s 15 Sep, 2003 Show βeta
βeta: hidden foot hold?its a obvious as the nose on your face.never hvs its not hard or scarey enough,& thats soloing.an ejoyable climb,3 *'s
βeta?
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βeta: hidden foot hold?its a obvious as the nose on your face.never hvs its not hard or scarey enough,& thats soloing.an ejoyable climb,3 *'s
Nick Smith - Climbers 12 Jun, 2003 Show βeta
βeta: Bottom pitch is getting increasingly ugly due to lots of wear from top-roping groups with muddy trainers... Still worth doing the route just for the 2nd pitch of course!
βeta?
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βeta: Bottom pitch is getting increasingly ugly due to lots of wear from top-roping groups with muddy trainers... Still worth doing the route just for the 2nd pitch of course!
r0b 26 Apr, 2003 Show βeta
βeta: Pretty steady VS as long as you keep the ropes tidy. I can also confirm the presence of the "hidden" foothold, but it still took me ages to find it.
βeta?
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βeta: Pretty steady VS as long as you keep the ropes tidy. I can also confirm the presence of the "hidden" foothold, but it still took me ages to find it.
Alex "wurzel" Thurgood 26 Jun, 2002 Show βeta
βeta: Did this in the rain too. Even scarier than very scary. 15 years on I think I'd only do it in the dry now, but it's certainly worth it.
βeta?
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βeta: Did this in the rain too. Even scarier than very scary. 15 years on I think I'd only do it in the dry now, but it's certainly worth it.
EarlyBird 4 Jun, 2002 Show βeta
βeta: The climbing is VS. The intimidating position is HVS.
βeta?
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βeta: The climbing is VS. The intimidating position is HVS.
gr 27 Mar, 2002 Show βeta
βeta: Alan - please don't mention the hidden foothold in the description - it spoils the suprise. one of my favourite routes regardless of grade.
βeta?
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βeta: Alan - please don't mention the hidden foothold in the description - it spoils the suprise. one of my favourite routes regardless of grade.

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Bachelor's Climb

Grade: VS 4c ***
(Hen Cloud)